Friday, February 24, 2017

Just Feeling The Fabric

The sun is shining. What a difference it makes to sit in the living room, looking out the window, and see that extra sparkle and warmth in the air. YES YES - spring is on its way. I don't mind winter. I like the extra time in the studio and I also like spring... and summer... and fall. I'm glad to live where there are seasons.

In my journal time, I read a story about ten cows that decided to move from one pasture to another and kept going back to the second pasture (the same cows) no matter how many times the ranch hands tried to return them home. Finally, their owner gave them to the pastor whose property they kept going to and having those cows significantly changed his and others lives. Last week, I had a less than wonderful client who made me wonder if I really was in the right place. This figurine reminds me that I am and that all I need to do is my best and keep walking in that direction and "my cows" will come to me.

Even though it's a good thing, I was beginning to notice that the (positive) stress of returning to hairstyling was tiring me out. This past week, I've made a point to spend more time in the studio just feeling the fabric and working steadily on some projects. The dress-to-coat conversion is coming along. I filled in the front neckline with a check yoke and mimicked the shape in the back and extended the three-quarter length sleeves with cuffs from the same fabric. With just the fabric, the cuffs looked chunky so I added lace and that worked. I also sewed lace around the yoke only it would look better following down the button band as well so I'm waiting until this weekend when the lace will be on sale to get some more. The buttonholes are done. All I need is the lace and the buttons and it's finished.

I bought this striped fabric at a recent sale. The quality is great only the colours weren't really me so I threw it in a brilliant blue dye bath using IDye. The resulting fabric is less clear than the original and it's still quite pretty - prettier than this picture looks - and will make a great pair of summer pants.

When my friend was visiting, she sewed a blouse out of this mottled grey that we both had. The design worked but the colour wasn't flattering so I over-dyed my yardage. This is MUCH better. The fabric is a lightweight cotton that will make a pretty blouse or skirt.

A while back, I bought a beige cardigan at the thrift store intending to over-dye it. As you can see by the lack of complete coverage, it was not 100% cotton as labelled or there wouldn't still be flecks. I didn't like the resulting blue so I...

... dyed it again with purple and I like this tone. It's too big for me. I intend to take out the sleeves, narrow the shoulders, shorten the sleeves and sew them back in, and then decide on the length and the shape of the neckline and button band. The quality is excellent and I really like the moss stitch so it's worth the work.

This blouse was also not 100% linen as advertised. I'd hoped to wear this but now I'm debating whether to cut it up for pieces or return it to the thrift store and let someone else decide what to do with it. It's not me as is.

On Saturday, I'm planning a slow day in the studio finishing up the coat and starting a new project. I traced a smaller size of Marcy's Vogue 8499 skirt and have a heavy cotton floral ready to cut out. I also traced the pants pattern. I need/want some new clothes for work and play and I've sewn this pattern in the past and it got a lot of wear. The pattern fits REALLY LARGE. Before when I sewed it, I went down three sizes so I did that again this time. If you're going to sew it, I'd recommend choosing your size by the finished measurements. Otherwise, it's a great pattern. A Marcy classic.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - seasons


  1. Love that you are overdyeing thrift store pieces. I do that too and get varied results that you do also. I love the stripe, the mottled and the sweater. When you dyed the linen blouse since it was a plant fiber did you use Procion? If you did then maybe try over dyeing with Idye which should work on Poly. It is worth a shot and the blouse is pretty. A thin painting of Dyn A Flow also might blend it all together in a pretty look. I have used that before with great success.

    1. I used IDye on the linen blouse. I think the embroidery is a cotton/poly and absorbed differently. I'm debating cutting it out and using it as a collar on another garment. With the Dyn-a-flow, did you paint it directly on the area with a small brush? Thanks for the suggestion.

  2. I have also made and loved the Marcy pants and totally agree that they are extremely oversized. I did find that having seams on the center front and center back of the legs made it easy to reduce the extra fullness. I could adjust right where the excess was and not have to mess around with the side seams or the center seams. Good luck, can't wait to see your version.

    1. I haven't sewn the pants before but had the same idea as you that there are numerous seams to make fitting easier. I'm looking forward to sewing them. I'm ready for some fun pants. The skirt I'm sewing has the same purple in it as the cardigan I over-dyed so I'm working on that "outfit" first. It needs a t-shirt or blouse as well.

    2. I made a top out of that grey mottled fabric (like a Travel-eze brand top) and it is the most comfortable summer top I own. There was a blue also at the time, but I didn't buy it and still regret it! And the Marcy pants pattern is great for travelling -- I've made it twice, taking out quite a bit the second time, and making hidden zipper pockets inside the deep pockets.

    3. I remember the blue - it was more denim-ish. LOVE the idea of the hidden pockets in the pants. That's perfect for travelling. Thanks.


Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.